Lying in the south of the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, Aruba is part of the Lesser Antilles. Along with fellow islands Bonaire and Curacao, and Holland, it makes up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This gives Aruba a Dutch feel – it even has its own authentic windmill – but there’s also a significant US influence too, as evidenced in many of the island’s restaurants and resorts. This area has some of the finest beaches on earth and a wonderful laid-back approach that mingles with a European heritage, making it a unique destination.
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
The Ritz’s name precedes it and here in Aruba, its property is suitably glamorous and just a 20-minute transfer from the airport. Designed to provide everything the holidaymaker could possibly need in one resort, it has six dining venues (including the renowned BLT Steak) a 15,000 square foot spa with 13 treatments rooms, two beachfront swimming pools surrounded by cabanas, a casino open around the clock, live entertainment, supervised educational kids’ programmes and a Club Lounge. 320 luxury guest rooms all come with balconies and honour bars – which are adjusted to your personal tastes -, signature featherbeds, Asprey bathroom amenities and light terry bathrobes. And you can bring your four-legged friend.
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
Originally designed by architect Morris Lapidus, Hilton’s Aruba property underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation to bring the 357 guest rooms up to date in laid-back Aruban style. As it’s right on the expansive Eagle Beach, those staying in the resort can enjoy service to their hut or sunbathing spot. It also has two huge zero-entry pools, one in a lazy river-style with a bridge over, cabanas and palapas, ponds with waterfall features, a casino, the eforea spa, a kids’ club and free bicycle hire. Dining takes place at the Sunset Grille, Laguna Restaurant and the Gilligan’s Seafood Shack, with drinks by the firepits at Mira Solo, in Castaways Bar and at Oscar’s Market.
Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort
Occupying its own 40-acre private island where flamingos roam free, the Renaissance Wind Creek overlooks Oranjestad city. Guests arrive by water transfer, to either the adults-only Renaissance Marina Hotel or the secluded Renaissance Ocean Suites — each offering a quite different experience, yet benefiting from the same amenities and airy barefoot luxury decor. The site includes a casino, Okeanos Spa, the Zen Garden and a multitude of places to eat, including L.G Smith’s, Papagayo Bar & Grill, the Mangrove Beach Bar and Fish Shack — there’s even an on-site Starbucks.